Ah, McDonald’s! That bastion of all-American greatness, and the original king of fast food restaurants. They’ve managed to evolve over the years, offering their customers new choices while still keeping their old favorites. After all, they have served more than 1 billion hamburgers so they must be doing something right. You would think McDonald’s would have their reputation to uphold, or maybe they just don’t think their customers will care what goes on behind the scenes. We like to think that the public is not aware of these facts about McDonald’s and that learning them will make people think twice before reaching for a Big Mac.
1. 2012: The year McDonald’s went ‘pink slime’ free
‘Pink slime,’ made by washing the fatty beef ends that normally would be relegated as nothing more than dog food in a delicious bath of ammonium hydroxide, was the fond nickname British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, gave this beef filler. The best part? The American people never knew it was in their burgers because McDonald’s did not have disclose the inclusion of what the corporation classified as ‘beef filler’ on their ingredients list. They just continued in their blissful ignorance. Would you like some fries with your pink slime today?
2. McDonald’s: Forever changing the dictionary.
The Merriam-Webster defines a McJob as one that offers low pay and few opportunities for advancement. That’s okay, though, because a McJob does not require that you have very many skills in order to be able to hold one down successfully. The CEO of McDonald’s, Joe Skinner, makes a cool $8.75 million per year. The average worker in his restaurants, making minimum wage, would only need to work 1.2 million hours to earn that much. Now, that is something to aspire to!
3. McDonald’s popular promo game, Monopoly, is riddled with fraud.
It seems like a winning combination: McDonald’s Monopoly, that game we all loved because we finally got to play a banker, and McDonald’s, a name that is every bit of an institution as Monopoly. What could be better than playing with your friends and winning a small fry or a cold drink? Obviously, the employees working for the company in charge of the promo thought so, too. They weren’t satisfied with French fries and free drinks, though. $13 million in top prizes were awarded to that company’s employees between 1995 and 2000.
4. Americans love their beef. Especially McDonald’s beef. A lot.
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Americans love meat, and beef is often cited as a favorite of people of all ages. In fact, CNN reports that a cheeseburger is second, only behind a Thanksgiving dinner, in a list of top 50 foods that Americans love. Americans love cheeseburgers so much that they eat five billion pounds of McDonald’s burgers every year. That roughly equals out to 5.5 million cattle which is the total amount of cattle in the entire United Kingdom.
5. Elderly woman sues McDonald’s for hot coffee.
In 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79 year old woman who visited a McDonald’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, sued the fast food giant after hot coffee spilled on her lap, giving her third degree burns. These burns were so horrible that they required that she undergo surgery for skin grafts on her upper thighs, and other areas of her body. McDonald’s policy at the time was to serve coffee to its customers that was dangerously hot. More than 700 complaints about coffee burns were already noted at the time of this incident. Liebeck only wanted McDonald’s to pay her medical bills which totaled $10,000. When they offered her only $800, she sued and won more than $500,000.
6. McDonald’s: The food supplier of the world!
According to Worldometers, a purveyor of statistics of the world, all in real time, there are more than seven billion people in the world, and that number continues to climb each day. Of course, all those people have to eat so where can they go? Well, ten percent of them can go to McDonald’s of course! With more than 34,000 restaurants in over 100 countries, the world’s largest fast food company serves nearly 68 million people each day. This equates to them selling a stunning 75 hamburgers each second.
7. Serving our country? McDonald’s wants to serve you!
In 1975, a McDonald’s restaurant near the site of a military base in Arizona was the first one to get drive-thru service. The restaurant wanted to give service personnel the chance to become a part of that 1% of the world’s population that downs McD’s every day even though regulations forbade them to exit their vehicles while they were wearing their military fatigues. In 2007, when the first McDonald’s drive-thru arrived in Bejing, customers were confused about using them. Many of them simply ordered their food using the drive-thrus, then parked their cars before going inside to eat.
8. McDonald’s and brand recognition: They’re doing it right
Everyone in the world knows that the golden arches set against a red background mean that a McDonald’s lurks nearby. In fact, Americans can recognize the golden arches 88% of the time while only 54% recognize the Christian Cross. While we cannot say what this means for the spiritual fabric of the country, we do know that McDonald’s is glad they hit on a winning logo early in their game.
9. Cuba: Closed to American businesses, except McDonald’s
Guantanamo Bay, a United States held naval base in Cuba, has been the subject of numerous media posts, most of them not good. One thing that could be viewed as positive though is that it is the only location where you can find any hint of the golden arches on the island. In fact, it is even said that prisoners who cooperate with interrogators are rewarded with McDonalds’ food like Big Macs and French fries. Of course, we can neither confirm nor deny this rumor.
10. Golden arches = Large breasts substitutes
During the 1960s, McDonald’s management was considering a fresh, new logo. You can bet your bottom dollar that McDonald’s top brass is glad they listened to Louis Cheskin, a psychologist that warned them not to change their logo. His argument centered around the fact that the golden arches bear a striking resemblance to a woman’s nourishing breasts. This Freudian development signaled to the hungry person that their needs would soon be satiated due to the association of the arches with this most basic evolutionary method of sustenance.